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Old     (smitty1258)      Join Date: Jun 2009       10-06-2010, 4:01 PM Reply   
I separated my AC joint class 2-3 in my right shoulder and tore the ligaments and cartilage at wake nation about 3 weeks ago.

Now my right shoulder has a large bump which the doc said would be there forever, and my shoulders will always be uneven.

Has anyone else done this same sort of injury, how long were you out, what did you do to heel up? Any vitamins?
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Old     (dakid)      Join Date: Feb 2001       10-06-2010, 4:14 PM Reply   
i used to get subluxation of the joint (arm would pop out, then pop back in almost immediately). and yeah, i've got bump on my shoulder that won't go away. surgery was an option but wasn't a guarantee so i opted against it. anyway, whenever it happened, the pain would be unbearable but would go away a few minutes later. there were times where it ended my wakeboarding for the day but i'd be good the following weekend. i didn't really do any rehab but i did avoid certain movements of the arm (like throwing overhand or doing tantrums), and now, it hardly ever happens. *knock on wood* maybe your doc can refer you to a physical therapist. give that a shot.
Old     (dococ)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-06-2010, 7:32 PM Reply   
I've done the level 2 AC separation, same shoulder twice, once going endo on a mountain bike at age 25, the second time on the rainbow rail 8 years ago at Kirkwood at age 34. My x-ray did not look quite as bad as yours either time, but it might have been close. First time I did not have health insurance, doc said "eh... sorry!" It hurt and made a clicking sound every time I rotated it around, for example while washing my hair every day. After about 15 months, the clicking stopped, and the pain subsided. The second time I had good insurance, got busy with physical therapy, which helped a ton. I did the PT hardcore to the letter, and I was able to compete wakeboarding within about 4 months. Yes, I still have bump, and my shoulders are uneven. What happened to me, is the rest of my clavicle, neck and opposite shoulder all seem to have recalibrated themselves somewhat, so the bump got smaller, but my whole shoulder/neck system now is a bit wacky. It has not given me any more trouble wakeboarding, but two years ago I got back into competitive slalom skiing (I know, long story), and it really has been giving me a lot of trouble again with the hardcore pulling forces, speed, and leverage for slalom. I may have to quit the slalom. I'd rather wakeboard, but it's hard to pass up as there is a very active club less than a mile from my house where I can get pulls twice weekly for just a few bucks, whereas wakeboard requires an all day trip out to the delta plus finding people to mooch rides from. I might just have to spring for a wakeboat and tell my kid tough sh*t on the college education. Oh, sorry, you were asking about the shoulder. Bottom line, this type of thing that happens as we all get older if we want to stay active in risky adrenalin sports. If you take care of it and don't screw around with your PT, then you probably can be riding again next season, but this is an injury that likely will pop up now and then in unexpected situations as you get older. Good luck with it.
Old     (lhlocal)      Join Date: Jun 2003       10-06-2010, 7:34 PM Reply   
I did the same thing riding my 50 about 5 months out of ACL repair. I think mine was level 3. It was the level under surgery. For the first week or two I couldnt raise my hand above my shoulder without a bolt of pain. It healed very quickly with twice a week pt. After about 4 weeks I was waking. Six weeks I was good as new. There is still a bump there which will never go away. At first mine felt like it would never heal, but with pt is started healing very quickly. My pt hooked me up with bio freeze which smelled horrible, but it made it feel a lot better.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-06-2010, 7:58 PM Reply   
I did mine in Feb. Bad grade 3. Strapped it hard and no bump for me. Strapping is the key to a good recovery. All the details here with a day by day log for 3 months recovery:
Old    mojo            10-06-2010, 10:16 PM Reply   
i dislocated my shoulder wakeboarding years ago. i cant even remember what exactly happened, but i never got it set right and things grew back wrong so it's very weak now. really sucks worrying about your shoulder popping out. called a hill-sachs injury.
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-06-2010, 11:53 PM Reply   
AC joint isn't shoulder it is collar bone.
Old     (pacifichigh)      Join Date: Jun 2008       10-07-2010, 6:26 AM Reply   
I ruptured 2 of the 3 ligaments in the AC Joint in 2000 snowboarding, and unfortunatly I've had a ton of other shoulder trauma since. I've had 6 dislocations and a labrum repair as well (all from snowboarding, wakeboarding, kiteboarding.)

I'm now doing prolotherapy in an attempt to strengthen the shoulder and I'm seeing positive results after the second treatment.

Shoulders are tough.

My advice is learn how to fall (arm on belly button) to protect the shoulder and hit the PT hard.

Good luck.
Old     (boarderpat)      Join Date: Jul 2009       10-07-2010, 7:37 AM Reply   
I did all 3 ligaments, complete separation back in 2005 while snowboarding. Recovery was relatively quick, back on snow after 2 weeks. Not sure about how long it kept me off the water because by the time it was warm enough to wakeboard again I was fully recovered! Mine is still slightly raised but in the same way as Darren's I did a lot of strapping as soon as I felt like I was able to put pressure on the bone/joint. Beyond that I did a lot (and still do) of very light resistance but high repetition shoulder exercise with those rehab stretch bands rather than free weights. To date (touch wood) the injury hasn't had an effect on my wakeboarding...
Old     (dococ)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-07-2010, 6:51 PM Reply   
Agreed on the elastic resistance bands. But you must wait until the proper time and then do them the proper way the PT shows you, if you do it wrong, you could just make things worse. I broke my elastic bands back out this summer after my injury flared back up, and it helped a lot in keeping me going through the tournament season.
Old     (liquidmalibu)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-07-2010, 9:18 PM Reply   
yep, 4 months ago i had a grade 3 seperation from a snowboarding injury.... unless it's grade 4 don't think about surgery... i did rehab once a week for 10 weeks and already it feels about 90 percent. it gets sore and stiff after a day of surfing and i'm taking it pretty easy wakeboarding... but really can't complain.

make sure you push yourself with training and you'll SEE THE RESULTS.

Old     (dococ)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-08-2010, 12:52 PM Reply   
Man, I wanna be where you are to be snowboarding in June!!
Old     (kyle_L)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-08-2010, 1:58 PM Reply   
I hate to be the bearer of bad news but that separation looks like it requires surgery. The only time the AC joint is operated on is when you tear both ligaments which can be visualized in your second x-ray that their is clearly no attachment to the acromion or coracoid. If the clavicle is freely floating above the scapula, this is classified as a grade three and needs to be reattached. The other issue with your X-ray is that it also looks as if you have torn your labrum as the humeral head is slightly displaced from the joint and there is no noticeable contact with the glenohumeral joint, mainly superiorly which is one of the most common occurrences with an AC separation. I really think you need to seek a second opinion and get an MRI because an X-Ray especially of that caliber cannot rule out either of these issues.
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Old     (kyle_L)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-08-2010, 2:19 PM Reply   
The first x-ray is a normal shoulder. You can see that although it is very similar to yours, the humeral head has a superior overlap with the joint and has no free space anywhere in the joint meaning that the head is sitting in the joint. If it were slightly out of the joint you would see shadowing in that superior area where it is black. An X-ray is a very poor tool however to diagnose a labral tear because it is not a true ball and socket joint so if the technician positioned you wrong, it could create a false positive suspicion.

The second x-ray is a type 3 separation with no shoulder dislocation. The clavicle is completely removed from the scapula allowing it to rise and create that bump you were talking about. If you only tore one ligament, the other attachment will still hold the bone down and not let it rise to the surface as much.

The third picture is a superior labral tear and is pretty similar to your shoulder joint. You can see that there are areas superiorly where the structures do not overlap indicating that it is not properly sitting in the joint. This is called a SLAP lesion and depending on the grade, it can be treated surgically or with physical therapy to allow the other muscles to compensate for its deficit, but this 100% has to be determined by an MRI in your situation because it would very hard to put you through the correct clinical tests due to the AC sep and it would make the diagnosis difficult to distinguish.
Old     (powercorps)      Join Date: Nov 2006       10-08-2010, 4:37 PM Reply   
Shoulders can suck i am sorry to hear that. A few years back I caught a wierd toeside edge. I thought i was fine untill the next day I could not lift my arm. It slowly healed over the course of about four months. I dont have any bumps or anything visualy wrong with it and since i still had arm movement right after it happened I am pretty certian I did not tear anything. Whats wierd is that nearly every time I ride that shoulder will start to hurt after about five or ten min. It is my lead arm so it takes all the pressure of the pull. Good luck with the recovery.
Old     (dococ)      Join Date: Mar 2002       10-08-2010, 7:48 PM Reply   
Well, Kyle sounds like he's on point, guess a specialist is in order. Keeping my fingers crossed that you have good insurance. I cannot believe all the craziness I did in my 20s with no health insurance. Good luck, bro.
Old     (kyle_L)      Join Date: Mar 2010       10-09-2010, 12:48 PM Reply   
Also you MUST manage your physical therapy with the orthopod and PT. Correct shoulder therapy is taken very slowly generally over the course of 6 months because of the poor vascularization of the joint basically making the healing process a slow and tedious one. Where do you live? It would be best if you can get in with an orthopod who has also done a sports medicine fellowship.
Old     (blabel)      Join Date: Jul 2001       10-09-2010, 8:41 PM Reply   
Take care of it. I had a grade 1 and I was out of the water surfing for 5 months. Can't say I was back to 100 % for at least a year to a year and a half. Still bugs me at times, three years later.

I didn't immobilize like I should have initially and I didn't take the healing process as serious as I should have. Listen to the doc and do your PT, that's all I can say.

I was pretty sick of hearing how people with much worse separations healed much quicker than I did.
Old     (jtnz)      Join Date: Sep 2007       10-10-2010, 5:32 PM Reply   
That's a nasty one. I did mine snowboarding about 5 weeks ago, barely a grade 2 though. I wore the sling for about a week and a half, ended up shifting computers in and out of cupboards for work, against doctors orders, in the following weeks. Still a little painful currently and I'm not going anywhere near a wakeboard (or a surfboard, or a snowboard, or a skateboard) for at least another month, tried playing cricket at the beach the other day and I'm definitely not up to bowling or throwing a ball.

Starting to do some rehab exercises, mainly static, like holding my arm out straight in front at shoulder level, then to the side, then lifting backwards from the waist as far as I can (that one is the worst) and just putting the joint through it's ROM. Really seems to help with freeing it up. I hope to get back in the pool soon and start swimming again. I think that is most likely going to be the best exercise to begin with, then move onto some boxing/bag work once it feels stronger.

I should note that when first moving my arm and shoulder into positions that weren't 100% comfortable I'd use my good arm to support the bad one.

Last edited by jtnz; 10-10-2010 at 5:36 PM. Reason: extra info
Old     (cwb4me)      Join Date: Apr 2010       10-22-2010, 5:36 PM Reply   
I JUST DISLOCATED my shoulder and separated my ac joint in a dirt bike accident. my doctor has told me to keep it strapped to my side for 3 to 4 weeks.what is wierd to me is when i hold both arms straight out in front of me my left arm sticks forward 2" to 3" further than my right. my shoulder on the left has that big knot your refering to and the ball end rotates further forward also. i will note i have almost full rom except at the very top over my head. the doctor says i can start rehab in a couple of weeks . i have to wait for ligaments to heal. my injury is only 1 week old today any suggestions?
Old     (ralph)      Join Date: Apr 2002       10-23-2010, 8:59 PM Reply   
Strap your collar bone down using this technique:
I found it more effective to put my hand on my waist (like the I'm a teepot song) while you do the over the shoulder strapping. I also run the tape further down my back so it covers the scapular too. Keep it strapped for 4 weeks min. Make sure you leave strapped while you sleep.

IMO having your arm in a sling is bad mojo for this injury, it torques the AC joint the wrong way. Strapping properly is the key to a good recovery, my research said to avoid surgery if at all possible.


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